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Michelle Ruiz Keil Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

All of Us with Wings (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summer in the City of Roses (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Michelle Ruiz is a Latinx playwright and novelist. She teaches writing with a focus on divination, fairy tale, and archetype and curates All Kinds of Fur: A Fairy tale Reading Series and Salon in Portland, Oregon. She has been a fellow at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and Lit Camp and is one of the members of Las Musas, which is a collective of Latinx kidlit authors.

Early on, she had a passion for theater, starting out as an actor before moving on to playwrighting and directing and running a community performance space. When her kids were young it got tougher and tougher to make this work.

Michelle finds that the best thing about being a writer is falling in love with her own stories. When she gets immersed in a story she is working on, it is just like being in love.

She came to writing later on in her life, and believes it is partly because being a writer seemed like an unreachable goal for her. She started seeing that writing can become a part of someone’s regular life. Do the dishes, take care of the kids, write, and then repeat. It showed her that it was not only for somebody with a rarified education or situation.

“All of Us With Wings” began as a dare. It started when she was team teaching a class of students who were looking to take part in National Novel Writing Month. It was being asked to take part in this by an adviser for her kids’ school that got her to write her novel. Since, she has been writing fiction.

For an early assignment, everyone brought five ideas in. she told the students they would be able to vote on hers and she would pen a novel on what they chose. They chose a story about a rock-star family that live in a storybook San Francisco Victorian, with a seventeen year old runaway that becomes the nanny to their daughter. It was here that her novel was born.

When she started writing her novel, she had no idea how to write a novel, but was too in love with all of her characters to set it aside. This is why it took her such a long time to finish it. She wound up doing about three or four books worth of revising while she taught herself how to tell a story from multiple perspectives and many intersecting story lines.

It wound up taking her a total of seven years for her to write the book from start to finish. Throughout the entire time, she wondered if she would ever be able to complete the book and worried she would never be able to get an agent, but never considered giving up on the project. She is a bit of a hedonist and writing stories is highly pleasurable for her. The book had been her haven for such a long time, and was actually really sad to finally complete it.

Michelle writes in fits and starts. Sometimes she will write nothing at all and other times she will write for nine hours at a time. The bones of her stories are made out of fairy tales. They do not always begin with a certain tale in mind, but she does have to find the mythic armature of a certain story so she can finish it.

Once her kids got older, she can occasionally indulge her proclivity to binge-write. With enough iced coffee, she is able to write for many hours. Otherwise, she has to fit in the writing where she can.

Michelle will write until she gets stuck. Then she tries to figure out what she has written. It is at this point that she begins researching her work. What does it make her think of? What corners of her mind has she just excavated? Which fairy tales or myths are being referenced? Then she tends to go to her bookshelves, or different stacks of her own books.

Besides loving fairy tales, she also reads tarot cards, and has been known to talk to the animals at times, all things that inspired her first novel.

Just like her protagonist, Xochi, Michelle is a mixed-race Chicano that ran away to San Francisco at the age of seventeen with some monsters at her heels. She was looking to tell a story about a found family, kids raising kids, friends raising one another, and what it really means to rise from childhood trauma’s ashes intact and empowered.

Her debut novel, “All of Us with Wings” was released in the year 2019, and is from the young adult fantasy genre.

“All of Us with Wings” is the first stand alone novel, which was released in the year 2019. Xochi, seventeen years old, is by herself in San Francisco and on the run from a painful past. During a visit to Golden Gate Park, she meets Pallas, who is a twelve year old with a rockstar family that lives in one of the storybook Victorian mansions. Xochi takes a job as Pallas’ live-in governess and soon becomes a part of the band’s house, fascinated by the free-love philosophy they have as well as the happy calm that helps balance out their glamorous music personas.

The night of the Vernal Equinox, while a concert afterparty is raging inside the house below, Xochi and Pallas are performing a pagan ritual. It unintentionally summons two ancient creatures that are devoted to right each of the wrongs of Xochi’s adolescence. She would do anything in the world to keep her new life, but the nightmares from her past are not too far behind her. The mom that abandoned her, the loving grandma that died and left Xochi alone in the world, and the man that betrayed her.

With creatures determined to exact vengeance on the ones that hurt her, nobody in Xochi’s life is really safe. Not the family she has chosen as her own, nor the one she left behind.

This is one story that bursts right off of the page and goes right with you into the real world. This book is well written, and starts to really take off when you begin learning more about Xochi. The book is even suspenseful in parts and has quite a few sympathetic and interesting characters in it.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Michelle Ruiz Keil

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